What Is Tooth Restoration?

Tooth restoration is a procedure that aims to repair damaged teeth, and restore their appearance and function. It is important to address any tooth damage promptly, as it can lead to more serious complications in the future.


Direct restorations

This includes fillings, which are used to fix cavities, and crowns, which are used for more serious cases of decay or injuries. This type of dental treatment can be completed in a single visit.

Indirect restorations

There are many types of indirect dental restorations, including fillings, inlays, onlays, and veneers. Each offers a unique set of advantages that help teeth to stay healthier for longer. The type of indirect restoration that is best for you will depend on a number of factors, such as the extent of your tooth damage and decay. Your dentist will be able to inspect the condition of your teeth and make a recommendation based on this information.

Composite Fillings

Dental fillings are a common indirect restoration that dentists use to repair small to medium-sized cavities. They are made from a malleable substance placed into the tooth, which is then hardened to restore the original shape and strength of the tooth. There are several different types of dental materials that can be used for direct fillings, including composite resin and amalgam. The most popular and durable is composite, which is available in a range of tooth-colored shades to match the shade of your remaining teeth. Composite resin is also used for a cosmetic procedure called tooth bonding, which can be completed in a single dental appointment.

Indirect Inlays and Onlays

Indirect inlays and onlays are fabricated from metals such as gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, or composites. They are often needed when a cavity is larger than a traditional filling but smaller than a crown. The tooth must be prepared, and an impression taken, before the inlay or onlay can be inserted into the tooth. Typically, these types of indirect restorations require two or more appointments for placement.

Composite Indirect Restorations

A recent review of the literature has found that indirect composite resin restorations have a poor longevity in comparison with direct adhesive restorations. The authors suggest that this is due to a lack of understanding of the key components of successful long-term composite restorations. The review highlights the importance of optimising all clinical stages, including case selection and patient assessment, preparation design, impression techniques, temporization, and cementation. It also emphasizes the importance of regular verbal dialogue between dentist and technician, and of laboratory visits.

Ceramic Indirect Restorations

Ceramic restorations, which are primarily porcelain inlays and onlays, can be made to mimic the appearance of natural teeth. They are durable and highly biocompatible, but they tend to be more expensive than other indirect restorations. In addition, they can induce wear with the opposing teeth’s surface, and they may crack over time.

Another option for restoring damaged and decayed teeth is a bridge. This is a series of false teeth that are fitted over the gap in the smile, and it’s a less invasive procedure than placing an implant. Bridges can also be made from porcelain, and they’re often preferred by patients with aesthetic concerns.